Print This Page

 Major Groups | Insecta (insects) | Diptera (true flies) | Ephydridae


Major Group: Insecta

Descriptive Features:

  • head capsule incomplete, reduced in size and structure, often retractile into thorax
  • cephalic structure a "cephalopharyngeal" skeleton 
  • mandibles usually with hooked apical tooth and lacking inner teeth
  • maxillary palps and antenna small or absent
  • abdomen 8-segmented
  • anterior spiracles absent
  • posterior spiracles separated, may or may not be spine-like
  • Total length:


      Taxonomic Checklist: Subfamilies Genera
          *Clasiopella 2 species
          *Ceropsilopa 2 species
          *Hostis guamensis Cresson
          *Psilopa 4 species
          *Brachydeutera 3 species
          *Ephydrella 4 species
          *Limnellia maculipennis Malloch
          *Neoscatella 12 species
          *Allotrichoma alium Cresson
          *Athyroglossa 2 species
          *Chlorichaeta orba Mathis & Zatwarnicki
          *Ditrichopora niveifrons Cresson
          *Glenanthe ismayi Mathis
          *Gymnopiella paucula Cresson
          *Hecamede 3 species
          *Hecamedoides 4 species
          *Lamproclasiopa biseta de Meijere
          *Ochthera 2 species
          *Orasiopa 2 species
          *Placopsidella cynocephala Kertesz
          *Polytrichophora brunneifrons de Meijere
          *Stratiothyrea femorata de Meijere
          *Trimerogastra 2 species
          *Atissa suturalis Cresson
          *Eleleides chloris Cresson
          *Hydrellia 16 species
          *Notiphila 2 species
          *Paralimna 5 species
          *Ptilomyia undescribed species
          *Typopsilopa chinensis Wiedemann
          *Hyadina pullipes Cresson
          *Nostima duoseta Cresson
          *Zeros 2 species

      Distribution: Australia wide

      Sensitivity Rating: SIGNAL grade 2

      Functional Feeding Group: shredders, scrapers


      Billabong Creek at Wanganella, NSW

      Ecology: Instream habitat: Commonly known as ‘shore flies’, ephydrid larvae occur in still waters and the margins of streams, often living in exposed wet sediment or within stems and shoots of aquatic plants. They are capable of surviving in highly polluted, low oxygenated or nutrient-rich environments.
      Feeding ecology: Little is known of the biology of Australian Ephydridae species, some larvae may feed on blue-green algae or other unicellular algae and others may feed on bacteria.
      Life history: In North America, females scatter the eggs along stream margins or on floating detritus in marshy areas with an accumulation of decaying vegetation. Adults have been found throughout all seasons so they are assumed to have several generations per year


      Information Sources: Hawking & Smith 1997, Colless & McAlpine 1991, Merritt & Cummins 1996, Gooderham & Tsyrlin 2002, Evenhuis 2008, Williams & Feltmate 1992, Keiper et al. 2002, Bock 1987
      Key to Subfamilies: none
      Key to Genera: none
      Key to Species: none